Trainer Tip: Mary shares an experience about accepting responsibility for her actions and how that lead her to greater choice and freedom. Trainer Tip We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel —Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. Some time ago, I was visiting my family in the Seattle area. I was on I-5 heading south. The traffic was much slower than I had anticipated, and what I expected to be a one-hour drive became a two-hour drive. I could not detect any reason the traffic was so slow, so I decided to blame the hundreds of people in the fast lane who were driving slowly, and who didn’t move into a slower lane to allow the traffic to flow more easily (or the way I wanted it to flow!). I became increasingly exasperated and I started to drive more aggressively by switching lanes, cutting in front of people, and tailgating. I kept telling myself that if everyone else just drove better, I wouldn’t have to be so aggressive. I pulled off the freeway and into a gas station. When I got out of my car, a young man came up to me and said, “This is a public service announcement.” I said, “What?” He said: “This is a free public service announcement. Cutting in front of vehicles and doing multiple lane changes on the freeway is hazardous to everyone on the freeway.” I stopped cold. This young man followed me off the freeway and into the gas station to let me know that he felt afraid of my driving! I thought about saying that I had to drive that way because other people wouldn’t relinquish the fast lane. That it was really their fault. But I stopped myself. I knew that I had felt impatient and wanted more ease on the freeway, and of the countless ways in which I could have handled the situation, I had chosen to drive aggressively. I was quite shocked by what this man said to me, and shocked at my own behavior, so I simply said: “You’re right. Thank you for reminding me.” “You’re welcome,” he said as he walked off. Even if all the choices we ponder are unpleasant, we are always responsible for our own actions, and we always have a choice. Be aware of times today when you do not take responsibility for your actions. Own up to your responsibility in that moment. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.